Paul Pressler joined Gap Inc., one of the largest specialty retailers in the world, as President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2002. Pressler oversees a portfolio of brands including the company's flagship Gap brand, as well as Banana Republic, Old Navy and Forth & Towne.
Under his leadership, Gap Inc. has significantly strengthened its balance sheet through a combination of operational improvements, aggressive debt management and continued solid cash flow. This strong financial platform has enabled the company to return cash to shareholders and invest in new initiatives to reach new customers around the world.
In 2005, Gap Inc. launched its fourth apparel brand, Forth & Towne; introduced Banana Republic in Japan; and announced plans to franchise Gap and Banana Republic in Malaysia, Singapore and five Middle East countries. The company also overhauled its online systems, resulting in what have been recognized as the best e-commerce sites in apparel retail, as well as a platform for future growth opportunities. The company announced plans to launch a new online footwear business, Piperlime, by late 2006.
A passionate advocate of corporate social responsibility, Pressler has further focused the company's efforts on encouraging employee volunteerism, supporting organizations that help underserved youth and women, and working to improve labor conditions in garment factories. In 2003, Gap Inc. began publishing a Social Responsibility Report, which Business Ethics magazine recognized with its Social Reporting Award for "taking social reporting a quantum step forward by risking unprecedented honesty in reporting on factory conditions." And in 2006, Business Ethics named Gap Inc. one of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" among major U.S. companies.
Prior to joining Gap Inc., Pressler spent 15 years with The Walt Disney Company, where he was most recently Chairman of the parks and resorts division, overseeing all aspects of Disney's theme parks...
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